Feb. 24, 2017
- Video: The False Narrative of Iranian Moderation – Dore Gold
The Iranian threat to Israel over the last number of years has been measured either by looking at the capabilities the Iranian armed forces have and are able to employ in any future conflict, and by the intentions that Iran harbors with respect to Israel’s future and its security.
In May 2016, the chief strategist for the previous administration, who marketed the Iran agreement to the American public, was Ben Rhodes. He explained that in order to make this agreement palatable in the United States and internationally, he needed to present Iran as a country that was moving in a much more moderate direction. But was it true?
We’ve all seen evidence that Iran’s behavior in the Middle East has become far more dangerous and severe. The Iranian navy is regularly moving throughout the Middle East region, from the Persian Gulf to the Red Sea, and has even visited the Mediterranean. Iran is testing new generations of missiles, despite the fact that the UN Security Council prohibited this type of activity.
But where we have gotten a real reminder that this analysis of Iranian moderation is completely false is from the statements of Iranian leaders in just the last few months. In fact, on February 21, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khomenei, once again referred to Israel as a cancerous tumor in the Middle East that had to be removed. He spoke about the complete liberation of Palestine – which means the complete destruction of Israel. And he called for a holy jihad.
That is not the voice of moderation. That is the voice of continuing conflict and escalation. When one considers the future of sanctions on Iran and whether the Iranian budget should be enriched so that it can procure more weapons, one has to take into account that Iran is not moving in the direction that we were promised and that Iran remains a very dangerous state. The writer, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is a former Israeli UN ambassador and director-general of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
- See also Iranian Official and Social Media Call for the Destruction of Israel after the Iran Deal (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
- America Is Right to Keep Up the Pressure on a Belligerent Iran
The hardliners who are in charge in Tehran need to reconsider their priorities. Judging by their actions and rhetoric, they appear to believe that the nuclear agreement marked the end of a process of rehabilitation. In fact, it goes only part of the way. The purpose of the deal was to put tight limits on Iran’s destabilizing enrichment program – nothing more, nothing less. In return, the rest of the world agreed to lift the UN-mandated economic sanctions that had crippled Iran’s economy.
However, other American sanctions on Iran remain, imposed a decade earlier to penalize Iran’s human-rights abuses, support for terrorism, and development of weapons of mass destruction, including the missiles to deliver them. Congress extended these sanctions for ten more years in December. The Senate backed the extension by 99-0 and the House by 419-1. Iran’s record of making trouble continues unabated. (Economist-UK)
- For Trump and Arab Leaders, Confining Iran Is Top Priority – Dina Ezzat
Containment of Iran and rolling back its expanding regional influence, not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, will top the agenda for leaders of the Middle East, including Arab leaders, when they start to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump throughout March and April. A Washington-based Arab diplomat said, “I think it is safe to say that the U.S. is acting to make it very hard for Iran to maintain its current regional influence. This is precisely what two leading Middle East countries, Saudi Arabia and Israel, have been working for.”
In Cairo, one official said any plans that Cairo had to explore further cooperation with Tehran have been suspended. According to another source, Washington is already making it clear that it expects Egypt to have a leading role, “political and otherwise,” in “handling Iran.” (Al-Ahram-Egypt)